This weekend we are the guests of Lady Margaret's Park. Sounds posh, doesn't it. We stayed here, a Caravan Club site, almost exactly a year ago for just one night, as a shake-down for our new 'van. On that occasion we were torn between staying with, and finding our way around, our new toy, as against the usual urge to get out and explore a new place. The former won out. There's only so much you can do in a one-night stay, but from the bit we saw we've been wanting to come back and do it properly ever since.
So this morning we did the canal walk as far as the Moreton Park garden centre for a spot of lunch.
It turned out to be an excellent walk, taking us across the Chirk Aquaduct, which we haven't done before. We've done the Pontcysyllte aquaduct, the other Thomas Telford wonder, in the next valley. Chirk aquaduct is different, though. Not so scary, but, with the rail viaduct right next to it, I would say it might be the more attractive of the two.
After lunch we retraced our steps and continued past the site up to Chirk Castle. This is a much better way to approach the castle than the usual way, by car. The walk through the woodland is gorgeous, and then you find yourself beneath a high wall, with no clue as to what's on the other side (unless you already know). Then suddenly the high wall is a castle. A real castle. It is mighty impressive. We arrived at a good time, late in the day, when the gardens were quiet. We had them almost to ourselves. From the end of the garden there is the most wonderful view out over the ha ha, and today was very clear. To the north we could see Fiddlers Ferry and Runcorn, then sweeping south was Helsby Hill, Beeston Castle and the Peckforton Hills, The Wrekin near Telford and even Wenlock Edge and the Long Mynd in the distance. It is a view that you can sit and admire for ages.
It is only just March though, and soon we were noticing the cold, and there is only so long you can sit around on a bench at this time of year. So we headed back.
Before we came away, Sarah told me she didn't want to walk too far because she is full of a cold, and I agreed we should take it easy. In the end we stomped over nine miles. It's that kind of place. Can't help it. There's always something else to see just around the corner. I reckon a weekend isn't long enough. This is a site we'll return to again and again. And it's only 45 minutes from home.